Monday, June 29, 2009

New middle class taxes to pay for healthcare 'reform'?

"The White House left open the possibility Sunday that President Barack Obama might pay for his health care overhaul by taxing employer-provided health insurance even though he had campaigned on not raising taxes on middle-class families. White House adviser David Axelrod said the administration wouldn't rule out taxing some employees' benefits to fund a health care agenda that has yet to take final form. The move would be a compromise with fellow Democrats, who are pushing the proposal as a way to pay for the massive undertaking without ballooning the federal deficit. . . . if Obama compromises on that point, it would reverse his promise not to raise taxes on those earning less than $250,000. "I pledge that under my plan, no one making less than $250,000 a year will see any type of tax increase," Obama told a crowd in Dover, New Hampshire, last year. "Not income tax, not capital gains taxes, not any kind of tax." At the time, his Republican rival, Sen. John McCain was proposing a tax on health benefits similar to the plan Obama is now considering. Just a year ago, Obama spent millions on campaign commercials attacking the idea. One ad accused McCain of favoring "taxing health benefits for the first time ever ... taxing health care instead of fixing it. We can't afford John McCain." A second Obama ad called McCain's approach "the largest middle-class tax increase in history." Driving the point home, it contended the "McCain tax could cost your family thousands. Can you afford it?"

Taxing non cash employer supplied healthcare benefits decreases take home pay, which decreases family disposable income, which negatively impacts families and the economy on numerous levels. Plus, employer supplied healthcare benefits generally go to union, civil service and middle class workers, i.e., the Democratic Party's middle class base. How do you think they would vote in 2010?

Government taxes things it wants to discourage. Does Obama really want to discourage employer supplied healthcare? If they pass this tax, it means the ultimate goal is to put everyone on a government-supplied HMO.

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